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primrose oil for labor prep/induction  RSS feed

 
Leah Sattler
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does anyone have any experience or info on evening primrose oil and preparing the body for labor and even inducing it.... I'll be satisfied with personal anecdotal evidence at this point  ops:. there is plenty of heresay on the web but I would like to hear personal experiences.....even my doc was willing to admit that it shows some promise in the dept and consented to me trying it.

I will do just about anything to avoid an induction with pitocin and it is already getting pushed on me big time. 
 
Jami McBride
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Leah, I do not know anything about primrose.... However, I know something about induction and pitocin.

I was in a successful trial study back in the 80's (actually I was in a few).  This study was on stimulating one's own body to help with induction - it works like this:



Nipple stimulation can be done successfully and uterine hyper stimulation may be avoided by following this protocol from Maternity Nursing: Family, Newborn, and Women's Health Care by Reeder, Martin and Koniak-Griffin:

* roll nipples between thumb and forefingers for 2 minutes
* rest for 3 minutes
* repeat rolling/resting for 20 minutes*
*increase rolling to 3 minutes and decrease resting to 2 minutes for 20 minutes if inadequate contractions occur after initial 20 mins.



I was just in the study and not actually using the method myself.
----------------------------------------------------
Experience #2

In the 90's was induced for every day for a week with pitocin.  Every morning at 8am by 9pm my labor stopped and I was sent home.  I had already had two C-sections and was working with a midwife to deliver naturally    I of course was complaining about all the pitocin.  So at the end of the week on Sat morning they replaced my pitocin with salmon sperm

The salmon sperm is placed on the cervix, and is so high in hormones it triggers labor.  It's strong stuff and expensive, so I hope you have insurance.  It will take a couple of applications in most cases.

My saga took more twists and turns before my son was finally born (naturally) that evening.
The next day the nurse attending said mine was the most un-natural natural child birth she had ever witnessed - we all laughed. 

If the primrose doesn't work ask for the salmon 

 
Leah Sattler
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salmon sperm!!! 

unfortunatly doc says my cervix is (or will be soon) too ripe to use cervical ripening agents. and he thinks there is no point. at my request (over  pit induction) my previous labor was induced with misoprostol which is an off label use prostaglandin that ripens the cervix and stimulates contractions. probably not unlike the salmon sperm idea.  it worked wonderfully last time and allowed me to have an otherwise natural labor. I told him thats what I wanted to use again if induction truly became absolutely neccesary but he thinks its a bad idea. he wants to go straight to stimulating contractions with pit. I think we have agreed to start with stripping the membranes if induction becomes neccessary. I am close to flat out refusing a pitocin induction and insist that the baby simply be monitored if they are that concerned. she is quite active and 'performs' well on the non stress test at this point. they are concerned about her size.....again ops: she will be measure via ultrasound on tues to see if she has grown.

it seems stupid anyway that they think a baby and placenta that might be compromised, should undergo the long hard contractions and oxygen depletion, blood pressure drop, fever etc... and almost inevitable analgesia associated with a labor induced with pitocin. isn't that just asking for a c-section due to fetal distress? it seems a slightly compromised placenta that could handle and function fine during a natural labor may not be able to handle a pit induction.

not to mention all the studies in rodents showing that excess oxytocin administration during the  neonatal period can have short term and life long affects on their behavior likely due to screwing up their normal oxytocin pathways, receptors etc.... there are several people pointing the finger at pit inductions as a possible cause of the oxytocin weirdities in autistic individuals. its such a crucial hormone for bonding, social interaction etc....that it is disturbing that it is so widely used. especially since no one has apparently bothered to do any long term detailed follow ups on babies that are "products" of pit inductions. I know it would be a very difficult thing to follow up on but it seems like our children should be worth an effort.

sigh.
 
Jami McBride
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absolutely.... 'They' seem not to follow up when it might interfere with a drug.  I agree with you - if it's all so delicate how can induction be the best way to go....?

All in all I was sorry I fell for the natural birth is everything ideal.  My deliveries are always compacted so a fast c-section was the best way all thing considered.  I should have left it at that as it would have been better on the baby that's for sure.

It's just great that you are so proactive in your situation, it's easy to get pushed around in the medical field and make compromises.  To bad about the salmon not being an option 

 
Leah Sattler
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I am starting the standard dose of primrose oil. it looks as though nothing says it to be likely to cause any harm and there might be some possibility that it will at least contribute to prepping my body for labor by making sure it has all the precursurs to natural prostaglandins.  if nothing else it makes me feel like I am doing 'something'. I will try nipple stimulation along with the stripping the membranes as a first line of intervention if it goes that way.

and ya know .....I am still going to look into the salmon sperm or any other similiar things. it may not work like I am assuming. it probably does from your description but I want to look into all my options. one question I need to pose is.....if my cervix is that ripe or will be when the time comes...why am I not/will not be in labor already? maybe just a lower than standard dose would be appropriate? I know docs tend to think in the assembly line fashion and do not always think of tailoring a regimin to a particular situation.  rupturing membranes is another option but then they set you against the clock. I think generally 24hrs is the longest that any doc will let someone go with ruptured membranes. 

ok, now I am starting to just ramble. that is what my brain has been doing all week. hopefully this won't turn into an issue.  I just don't want to have to go in uninformed at the eleventh hour with the doc putting me on the spot, touting the manipulative and emotion wrenching line "dont' you want a healthy baby?" and have to make a decision. I am rehearsing the line "I am going to go home for a few hours and think about it" 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh my, Leah. What challenges!

I had two natural, home births, though both babies/labors had to be induced to get going. Maybe there's a piece here that can help.

For my daughter, who was so over due and I was so huge we were worried about the integrity of the placenta, my midwife had me drink (yes, drink) castor oil, epsom salts and orange juice concentrate. I can't completely recall (22 years ago!), but I think it was 2-4 ounces of each. This cleared my bowels and I was in labor within a couple hours. It was a long labor, with contractions that I could walk and talk through even at transition! Oddly enough, nipple stimulation and rupturing the membranes did not encourage things to speed up in my case. After a turn from the midwife because her shoulder was stuck, my daughter was born the next day, 11 pounds 2 ounces, and the placenta was just starting to separate.

Seven years later, my son was going overdue, and we knew we'd be in for a big baby again. This time my midwife sent me in for the prostaglandin gel on my cervix, saying it would be gentler than the lovely drink we did before. I know you said your doctor doesn't want to put anything on your cervix, but I'm adding it for the context of the first brew. It was a long labor again (7 years between) though this time, the contractions had me breathless and on my hands and knees unable to move. My second baby was "only" 10 pounds 8 ounces.

Flash forward ten years or so to my younger sister's pregnancy. She was going overdue, with a large baby, and traveled a long way to a restaurant who's house salad was rumored to induce labor. As she walked in with her huge belly, they said, 'you're here for the salad, right?' She said the dressing tasted awful though they didn't tell her what was in it. I'm thinking maybe castor oil! Anyway, I think that worked for her, though she needed a C-section eventually because her son was 13 pounds 9 ounces!! (Some genetics, eh?) And she is much smaller boned than I am, poor thing.

I've heard awful stories about the pitocin, too, so I hope, hope, hope you can find a gentler route for you and your new little one.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I wanted to add two things I learned from my very excellent home birth birthing class 22 years ago. (You know, like a Lamaze class, but this one covered everything about birth and newborns, particularly for home births.)

1. An entire class was devoted to medical interventions, and how lucky we are to have them. It was one of my favorite sessions. Yes, we try to avoid things like pictocin, and C-sections, etc. But wow, we are SO lucky we have them if we need them!

While I do think a lot of medical personnel turn to the medical interventions far too quickly, it was such a reassuring attitude to have that we can plan for doing it the most natural way, but hey, no fault, no foul if circumstances warrant additional help. In fact, it's a huge positive that we have the choice and availability.

2. There are all kinds of psychological ties to birthing. Women have less complications if they birth where and how they are comfortable birthing. If a woman is more comfortable birthing in a hospital, that's where she should be (if at all possible). Another interesting tie to birthing were expectations about pain, and relationships of the birthing mother to her own mother. The better (and more realistic?) the attitude and relationship, the less pain and the easier childbirth.

Well, that's my foggy memory of the psychological stuff any way.
 
Leah Sattler
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thank you both for relating some of your birth stories. I really envy those of you with access to good midwives, there were few options here. however I'm pretty sure a midwife would have already referred me to a doc anyway at this point.  I do wish the scrapping between doctors and midwives would stop and they would cooperate to provide the best care for women.

I was overhearing in the waiting room yesterday of a couple who did a home birth recently but she needed to see a doctor for some follow up problems and they had alot of trouble finding anyone that would see her since she did a home birth. they had finally found someone at that clinic who would apparently.

my doc was relating a recent story to me about a couple and midwife (could have been the same one?) who showed up at the hospital with the woman bleeding terribly and virtually unconcious with very low hemoglobin and he was frustrated as the husband and midwife wanted to peruse the options and debate what the best course of treatment was. he said he finally had to turn to the husband and ask if he wanted him to save his wife or not? it shouldn't come down to that. I can see both sides frustration and if everyone would just get off their high horse and admit that natural is better and give some respect to women's bodies and the emotional aspect of birth and also admit that doctors have an appropriate role sometimes then the care of women and babies during this period of life would be so much better.

wow! jocelyn you got some big 'ol babies! of course my problem is the opposite. the ultrasound measured my tiny girl in the 5th percentile tues and she is not gaining weight appropriatly. skinny. although everything else looks excellent doc doesn't want to wait until she goes down hill. I think I basically I just don't grow big babies. its really hard to weigh all the "ifs" and unknowns and risks of doing something and risks of not doing something. it is all very overwhelming. 

the psychological aspect is important to me. I want baby and I to bond well and have a good start and I know that the birth interventions and atmosphere has alot to do chemically/hormonally with that process. docs tend to be very flippant about that portion of the equation. they get to dust their hands off and pat themselves on the back and walk away as long as mom and baby are breathing and they don't have to deal with some of the less tangible aspects of birthing, babies and women.

as it stands we are starting the least invasive method of induction friday. just stripping membranes. he says I will be having the baby by next tuesday, the day I am at a full 38 weeks. he insists we shouldn't wait till he baby shows signs of stress or I will end up with a c-section and that does make sense to me. (thankfully I am absolutely 100% sure of my dates so there is no risk of literal prematurity).  but I know how far we go as far as interventions to force that to happen is ultimately up to me. ugh....... like the stress of that thought is going to help me relax and let labor happen. talk about counterproductive. 
 
Gwen Lynn
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Hey thanks for the update, Leah! Just curious if there's any pain or discomfort involved with "stripping membranes"? Those 2 words just don't fit together comfortably! 

You said: "its really hard to weigh all the "ifs" and unknowns and risks of doing something and risks of not doing something. it is all very overwhelming."

Boy, I can really relate to that statement with things in my life right now. None of those things are as serious as childbirth, but your statement sure hits home with me right now, just on other levels.

However things work out, I hope they are as easy on you and baby as possible. Can't wait to meet her and see you all again!   
 
Leah Sattler
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"curious if there's any pain or discomfort involved with "stripping membranes"? "


well. its not supposed to be particularly pleasant  ops: but its got to beat a pitocin induction and consequences that can be lifelong as there is virtually no risk doing it this way (other then pain/discomfort) of course it is also somewhat of a "cross your fingers and hope it works" thing.

gee. I should probably have put "for women only" in the subject line to warn the guys away any who stumble on here probably are cringing with tmi.
 
Gwen Lynn
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You know what? I say...let 'em cringe! 
If women didn't birth them safely & care for their cringing little selves, they probably wouldn't be here! 
 
Leah Sattler
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  I have never had a doctor that didn't do something that made me lose almost all respect for them.

so he changed his mind about stripping the membranes. said he would do it monday. fine. just did an nst test friday. he says baby looks great on the nst! then.... he walked out of the room and i overheard him tell the nurse to schedule a pitocin induction for me on tuesday.  seriously? he didn't find it neccessary to discuss this with me? did he just assume he would be able to manipulate me into doing it? he is no longer to be interested or bothered with my concerns about it? I'm furious. when the nurse came in to get the monitor i clarified to her that she shouldn't bother putting me down for an induction because I wouldn't show up. I was too ticked off to call the doctor back in. I probably would have knocked his teeth out.
 
Gwen Lynn
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I've read just about everything I can google on the subject & I sure wish I'd done that sooner.

I still don't understand why your doctor is so unwilling to try what worked for you before (I forget the name). If it doesn't work, THEN try something else, as a last resort. I think you should stick to your guns. You & Shea have a right to a drug free birthing experience, if at all possible! 

It sounds to me like you really need peace & relaxation now & I'm truly hoping you are managing to get as much as possible. I know it must be hard to do. Sending peacefulness your way. 

I will be very interested to hear what happens on Monday. Keeping you in my thoughts!
 
Leah Sattler
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I can't really figure out why the prostaglandins aren't acceptable either. when looking up studies using misoprostol it appears that they always exclude women with a bishop score higher then 6 or so.

fyi. a "bishop score" is a score they give your cervix based on how "ripe" it is.

I am coming to the conclusion that "they" have already decided that pitocin is the way to go with women with a high bishop score and no one even is bothering to look for alternatives anymore. they just assume high bishop score = pitocin for induction. why the obstetric community wears such blinders about the dangers of pitocin I don't know. not that prostaglandins induction is great but.....   

this is just a sampling of some information. ob's really don't know what they are messing with IMO.


"One of the human body's own naturally occurring hormones, oxytocin is released in the posterior pituitary gland and controls a number of important bodily functions. Since the 90's, the psychoactive components of the hormone have become the subject of scientific study and subsequently became meaningful during diagnosis and subsequent therapy in the fields of Psychiatry and Psychology. The new awareness and research regarding the psychoactive character of the hormone is particularly of concern in view of the fact that since the 1960's, oxytocin has also been used medically, primarily by Gynaecologists, to induce labour."[/i]

from here http://www.hugthemonkey.com/the-perinatal-application-of-oxytocin-and-its-potential-influence-on-the-human-psyche.html

yowsers. it took them 30 years to [i]wonder
what it does to the human psyche?

 
Gwen Lynn
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Hugthemonkey.com was one of the sites I researched. There was another one I liked that had a list of the rights of pregnant women. As long as Shea continues to do well on the prenatal testing, I think you should keep pressing your point to your doctor. Maybe he will surprise you and decide to treat you as the intelligent person you are, instead of a mindless drone. We can only hope!
 
Jami McBride
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Leah Sattler wrote:
  I have never had a doctor that didn't do something that made me lose almost all respect for them.

seriously? he didn't find it neccessary to discuss this with me? did he just assume he would be able to manipulate me into doing it?



Yes - most likely he did!  Good for you to hold your position and not get pushed around.

When asking the same questions I had it explained to me like this -
They (doctors) take the easiest road for themselves, AND the one that keeps them as far from complications (which can lead to legal action). 

You have to find someone who believes in natural methods so much they are willing to take possible risks to push for the delivery you believe in.

When push comes to shove the nurses will follow his orders and not yours, so you had better have a strong advocate with you at all times from here on out.  To bad you can't dump him and get someone who will listen to your wishes.

I'm having the same problems with our family dentist provided by our Indian card - I keep talking mercury, no metal fillings, no fluoride, no ..... and they just do the treatments to my daughter when I'm not around - Arrgggg!  When it comes to doctors in America it seems we have no rights.

All the best to you Leah, I know this is not the best time to have a battle on your hands.

Some interesting info here - scroll down the page - http://www.suite101.com/reference/pitocin




 
                    
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My friend across the river was vaguely overdue, and she said drinking blue cohash tea really helped her actually get the whole show on the road.  It was her 5th birth, at home with no assistance, other than her man.  She said the long labor was mostly due to her psychological resistance...once she decided to let her body have the baby, it happened pretty quickly. 
 
Leah Sattler
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ugh. showed up at the docs at 8:15 this morning to a locked door and lights off. apparently the office shuts down when they cancel schools. everyone is freaking out down here because of the weather moving in. good grief the roads were find this morning.

oh well. gives baby more time in where she probably belongs right now with out him pressing me. if he were so concerned I think he would have made some arrangements for my care. he is just induction happy.

I have looked into several herbal concoctions. the cohoshes are popular with midwives but even they use them with extreme caution. I know they have potential to cause problems too. I figure anything strong enough to work is strong enough to hurt and must be used with caution so I am holding off on attempting any thing such as that. the primrose is really a fat supplement. it supposedly works by providing your body with the neccesary "ingredients" for producing prostaglandins. it doesn't actually contain prostaglandins such as some sites have misinterpreted (from my understanding) maybe its just justification in my mind but I figure my body won't turn it into prostaglandins to its own or the babies detriment it will hopefully just give it everything it needs to have a healthy normal labor. 
 
                    
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Yup, it's strong stuff.  It was only a cup of the tea that she drank, the day that labor started.  I can understand why you want to be really cautious, but thought I'd mention it. 
 
Leah Sattler
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marina - I do appreciate the mention. it is still on the table. I am just not quite that desperate yet.

I have found this


" Oral misoprostol tablets

Misoprostol tablets cut to 50 mcg size and administered orally every 4 hours to a maximum of 6 doses.

These regimens can be used irrespective of the state of the membranes (ruptured or intact), parity, cervical state and gestation. Care is needed in women with favorable cervices and ruptured membranes as they often progress rapidly in labor once induced."


from here.....http://www.misoprostol.org/File/GuideIOL.php

its possible that my doctor is possibly uninformed, has been told to avoid misoprostol by some authority, is hesitant because he doesn't actually have any experience in its use (lied) or lied to me about the use of prostaglandins to unduce labor with a favorable cervix. I don't find any of those options comforting. but I have several references in addition to this one available on its use and safety to show him. 

the use of a prostaglandin rather then oxytocin is by far more acceptable to me. certainly not ideal but better.
 
                    
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Any day now, right Leah?
 
Leah Sattler
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I got me-self a baby and imagine this........

I didn't need pitocin! alhtough even at that it wasn't pleasant due a variety of reasons, the major ones being that I was on a magnesium drip for a few days and the fact that I hadn't slept for several days either (before I even went in), which leaves me pretty amnesiatic (is that a word?) about things. in fact there is a whole 24 hours that I remember only a few notable moments of. like trying to get out of bed and crumpling onto the floor. nice.    the magnesium really wacked me out. its like being stoned out of your mind and having someone take all muscle control/strength away also....... baby is safe and sound though and I don't have to worry about what wacky things pitocin or pain meds may have done to her brain. can't help the magnesium or BP meds.  so I try not to think about.   
 
Gwen Lynn
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Congratulations...on many levels! I'm so glad you BOTH made it thru all that. Whew!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Yes, HUGE congratulations, Leah!! So glad it all worked out. Hope you all are resting and recovering well!
 
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